5 Ways Zinc Boosts Botox
November 28, 2023
The science behind zinc’s ability to boost the effectiveness of neurotoxins (such as Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin) is fascinating and I wanted to take a moment to share how it can benefit you. As you know, Botox is widely used in many aesthetic facilities, however most injectors only have a peripheral knowledge of the mechanisms of action. At PUR-FORM, we pride ourselves on being at the cutting-edge of science, which is why it’s important that we share some information with you that other provider’s won’t: the humble nutrient, zinc, can make Botox function better and last longer in terms of aesthetics.
To explain this, it is necessary to discuss a bit of chemistry:
Botox is made up of two chains, heavy and light. The heavy chain helps the Botox attach to nerve cells, while the light chain is the active part that blocks the nerve signals to muscles. For the light chain to work, it needs to be released from the heavy chain once inside the nerve cell. This is where the Botox protease enzyme comes in.
A protease enzyme catalyzes proteolysis, breaking down a protein into smaller parts. The Botox protease is activated by zinc, which helps it function in the right shape. The protease acts like a pair of molecular scissors to cut the connection between the heavy and light chains. It uses a glutamate amino acid to snip a specific bond holding the two chains together. Once this bond is broken, the light chain is freed up. It can then block the nerve-to-muscle signaling process.
To simplify, zinc helps the protease take the right shape. The protease cuts the link between the heavy and light Botox chains, which releases the active light chain to block nerve signals and relax muscles. The zinc allows the protease to do its job of unlocking the key light chain portion of Botox, which is what provides the wrinkle-smoothing effects. The Botox protease uses zinc as a cofactor to achieve the proper shape and orientation to break the bond between the heavy and light chains. This releases the functional light chain of Botox into the cell, allowing the toxin to block neurotransmitter release, paralyze the muscle, and eliminate the wrinkles temporarily. Botox then blocks nerve-muscle communication, prevents muscle contraction, and relaxes wrinkles.
Unfortunately, the injected Botox breaks down over time, allowing nerve-muscle connection and contraction to return.
This is where zinc may come in handy, as it may prolong Botox’s effects 5 key ways:
1. Increasing Botox binding
Zinc is a cofactor for the protease enzyme botulinum toxin endopeptidase. This enzyme cleaves proteins that allow Botox to bind to nerve endings. Higher zinc levels increase the activity of this enzyme, allowing more Botox binding and greater paralysis of muscles.
2. Stabilizing muscle membranes
Botox injections can damage muscle cell membranes at the injection site. Zinc helps stabilize and repair these membranes through structural support and antioxidant effects. This provides longer-lasting paralysis.
3. Boosting tissue recovery
Botox disrupts the extracellular matrix between muscles. Zinc aids collagen formation and tissue restructuring, allowing for smoother wrinkle correction that persists longer post-injection.
4. Reducing inflammation
Botox can provoke localized inflammation as an immune response. Zinc reduces this inflammatory response and tissue irritation, enabling smoother healing and less breakdown of Botox particles.
5. Improving Botox storage
Botox can degrade with improper storage.
How much zinc should you take?
A study from the Journal of Dermatology found that people who received Botox and then took a 50-milligram zinc supplement saw a significantly longer duration in their results. Over 90 percent of participants who received the supplement, rather than the placebo, reported around a 30 percent increase in the duration of the initial injections. Through these molecular mechanisms, dietary zinc or zinc supplements may allow patients to go longer between Botox injections and get more value from each treatment.For a comprehensive look at the benefits of neurotoxins, you can read more here.
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